UMass BRoCA Lab

Brain Research on Chronic Aphasia

(Kurland BRoCA Lab)

Recently funded test development study:

NIH/NIDCD GRANT (1 R21 DC020265-01): (“Phase III Development of a Valid, Reliable, Clinically Feasible Measure of Transactional Success in Aphasic Conversation: Modernizing Methods of Acquisition and Analysis of Discourse Data”)

This award has two major goals:

1) To demonstrate the reliability of the “Brief Assessment of Transactional Success” in conversation in aphasia (BATS) and its validity in assessing transactional success; and 2) To advance state-of-the-art study of discourse in aphasia.


To participate in this study (either as a person with aphasia, or a non-aphasic conversation partner), contact:

Polly Stokes, M.S., CCC-SLP

(413) 658-5905

Completed funded treatment study:

NIH/NIDCD Grant (1 R01 DC011526-01A1):  “Overcoming Learned Non-Use in Chronic Aphasia: Behavioral, fMRI, and Quality of Life Outcomes

This longitudinal study will examine short- and long-term treatment-induced behavioral and neuroplastic changes as observed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and effects on quality of life, in 24 participants with chronic moderate-to-severe aphasia, before and after intensive language therapy.

For more information, visit the UMass Media Press Release (In the Loop) or listen to the story on NEPR.


  • Developing a test of communication success in aphasia
  • Understanding mechanisms supporting brain reorganization in poststroke aphasia
  • Investigating the effects of treatment variables on neuroplasticity
  • Investigating the effect of bilingualism on aphasia recovery
  • Examining individual differences in stroke recovery
  • Examining individual differences and effects of age, gender, and handedness on language behaviors in healthy, non-brain damaged individuals
  • Promoting functional independence and improved quality of life for individuals with neurogenic communication disorders and their families
To find out more about aphasia research at UMass, or to participate in one of the free treatment studies, click here to visit Dr. Kurland’s BroCA Lab website.